Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Olympics-obsessed in Lausanne

Most of you know that I am obsessed with the Olympics. I nearly wrote my senior Honors College thesis on them, that’s how much they fascinate me. It’s not even funny anymore. (I’ve had the London 2012 event schedule saved to my computer for over a year. #fanaticstatus) Needless to say my weekend trip to Lausanne, Switerland, the capitale olympique, was pretty awesome.

All 28 American students went to Lausanne on Friday afternoon to get our fingerprints and photographs taken so that we could officially declare our residence in Switzerland. Then we went to the Olympics Museum because it closed for two years of renovations this Monday aka two days after we were in Lausanne. After round one at the museum, everyone else went home while four friends and I checked into our hostel and set about climbing the mountain that is Lausanne for dinner.
Dinner was basically cheese. One fondue, one baked ravioli dish, and three of us got croûtes which are bread with ham (usually) covered in cheese and broiled. Genius.
Saturday is market day in Lausanne and so we hiked into the old city to walk around the streets of fruit and veg stalls. My new favorite way to eat breakfast is to have a shared loaf of bread in one hand and fresh, crisp, incredibly delicious apples in the other.

literally hiking around

Afterward we went up tons of steps to the top of Lausanne where the cathedral and palace are. The cathedral is Switzerland’s longest at more than 300 feet long (fact courtesy of Rick Steves). It’s beautiful but rather plain because John Calvin destroyed nearly all religious symbols in the church. You can still see traces of the original paint but only one of the stained glass windows dates back to the 13th century.

On Saturdays there is also market up near the palace that is part flea market and part cheese/meat market. Anna and I had some leftover bread and fruit from breakfast so we bought some goat cheese and pastries to fill it out and we all took the tube down to the lakefront park to eat a tasty but freezing lunch.

And then we went to the Olympics Museum for round two.

(clockwise) Usain Bolt's 200m kit (2008), Jesse Owen's shoe (1936),
Michael Phelp's swimsuit (2004), Carl Lewis' shoe (1992)

We finished our time in Lausanne with a quick visit to a rather modern/avant-garde photography museum before catching the train home in time for dinner. Lausanne is a very short train ride from the Geneva area and I am sure we will go back again.
PS This morning I woke up to a winter wonderland! x

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